tv The Communicators Jeremy Bailenson VR CSPAN July 9, 2018 2:17pm-2:51pm EDT
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in your new book experience on demand you write that consumer virtual-reality is coming like a freight train. it may take two years or ten. but a massive option that's affordable. it will unleash a torrent of applications that will touch every aspect of our lives. how so. i've been studied virtual reality since the late 1990s. even sincere 2013. there was maybe a thousand high-end headsets across united states in today there are literally north of 10 million really high quality virtual-reality goggles out there. you talk about it being the most psychologically powerful medium in history. why do you call it that.
the title of the book's experience is experience on demand. if you're trying to understand virtual-reality you should think of it as a medium. because you are moving your body and its updating your senses you see things as you would in the real world. we call this embodied cognition. the brain reacts as if you are having a real experience. the knee and wonderful and some times scary thing about it is that they have not yet evolved to understand that. when you have this experience it feels real. reusing that just for gaming today and how do you see it being used in the future. i think the biggest misconception that people have when they think about that is
that it's only for gaming. i think that gaming as it stands as one of our most successful industries in the united states. it's really different from lotta people initially that it would thought it would be good for gaming. with about a 20 minute rule. you want to take off. you're feeling a bit wonky. you take it up off after 20 minutes if they are playing this game traditional and then having a nonverbal conversation. you're all in and immerse. immersed. it's hard to live your life. there's certain things you can do when you doing this is fine for example you're using guns and killing people when you are in vr and the way you are
killing people is by using your hands and then you are getting that kind of feedback as you are slicing people's attendance open. it's not as fun as experienced they work so well when you have a level of psychological separation people don't really want to play them when he gets into immersive vr. i founded the lab at stanford. it was in the year 2003 we built it and we test how it affects the brain and we develop applications that leverage psychologically what it's good for. and the things that make it as a medium very special. we test and run experiments. to learning and training. in communication. and then we face outward. we build the systems that people use. when you talk about facing outward do you say that
stanford encourages that what do you mean? >> we want to do amazing. academic work. i published about ten a science journal articles per year. it's okay to spend time in your work week to go and we have a congressman come to the lab last week. he wanted to learn how to use vr. it's okay to go and visit companies. i've got to all the big tech companies. i've gone and given them talks about what vr is good for and what you should avoid with vr. it's okay to help the world understand how the academic research will affect their lives. it's really neat to be able to work at a place where by far the best science on the plane is getting done and it's okay to have a conversation with you. and to tell our audience this is what vr is. this is how it works.
what a congressman from oklahoma learn about and how it could be used in his work. we spent a lot of time on training. so the congressman was a former in the u.s. army. and he have done a lot of training in the military. what i do in my lab is we leverage with the military has been doing for decades which is imagine you have a virtual practice why would you practice or do drills in the military and the answer is it is safe. you can do extra repetitions whenever you want. you will have to have 100 of your fellow soldiers around. you can do things that are really where -- rare. but my research has and is take that idea that we been using that to train soldiers and say hey who else can we train in this. american football quarterback spirit and putting a
quarterback in there. and letting him look around at the field and decide if he's going to change the play. we work with employees at companies like walmart. they have never experienced something like holiday rush. two many demanding things and yelling at you. it turns out because of high turnover rate at walmart only one into miniatures managers has ever experienced holiday rush. they get to experience that in practice and learn it. when practice is free. we learn by doing and making mistakes and then getting the feedback on those mistakes and what it does really will is give you an opportunity to train and try new things out into fail and then get feedback to get better. see mac who has walked the plank at the lab. when you come to my lab one of my signature demos. you look around and you see a room that looks just like the physical lab room. and then we have a button and we drop a chasm.
at about 10 meters deep. and to get across it you have to walk about 3 meters across. if you go a little bit to you or left or right we model gravity and with sight, sound and touch you see the world rushing by. as you plummet to the bottom of this pit. you hear the sound. it's a really intense experience. when you have done well. this is not real. but the back of the brain is terrified. and whenever we bring whether it is children on a school field trip or the ceo of a fortune ten company that is the first thing that we do. if i show you that it's real and you are unwilling to take a step has most of our people
are once i have it saved you on this idea that it is so real that you're not even willing to step on a fake plague than we can have a real conversation. about the really hard to topics that you have the experience to really understand. what was that reaction. in general when we bring people and what i will say about mark is he is super high presence. he completely understood what was the benefit. some people, most people put it on and they say while i did not think it was going to be like this. and mark got it he really got it. you talked about climate change and empathy into virtual reality let's walk through empathy how to use the virtual reality making us more empathetic human beings.
our research since 2003 we had been melting two theories. what contact hypothesis says. if you take people from different groups. and you put them together so that they have physical contact and there in the same room together over time they will learn to get along. in general the sociologist said let's try putting them together and they develop those methods. the second theory is called body transfer. if you have something new -- move physically and they see their avatar and their representation of themselves over time it takes about four minutes to kick in. you really feel like this avatar is you.
also expanded to include the external representation. in 2003 we started a line of research where people would go to the mirror and they would put on the goggles and they would see a mere in virtual reality. we would do this body transfer and then we would hit a button and you would transform i would see myself as a woman of color. it really feels like it's here. the next step. it would turn on the hundred 80 degrees and we would network a second person into vr. that person would then proceed to treat you really badly based on your race or your gender or your age. or anything about you that we would want to run in our studies. and you would learn to walk a mile in someone else's shoes. chapter three of the book called walking a mile in the
shoes of another. they understand the effects of this. and the short answer is in general virtual reality tends to outperform control commissions. with diversity training the gold standard is role-playing. imagine your someone else acting it out. imagine if you did something like that with prejudice against you. they tend to outperform role-playing. it attends to outperform the video. and more poorly it doesn't just change attitudes it changes behavior. it is really important when you do this research not to just rely on self report. we all say we want to be better people and kinder and more compassionate it's really hard to change daily behavior. we always look at how behavior changes for example, a study which is published half of our experimental participants they imagine they role-play and
they were visually impaired the other half wearing the goggles. trying to see what really caused it to do that. they then headed to a very difficult sorting task. they have to grab objects that were similar in shape and put them into different piles. it's really hard to do when you are role-playing it's impossible to do when we had cause you to be impaired in virtual reality. then we give you the opportunity to help other people. we just say hey would you like to volunteer and stay longer. what we asked them to assert the red -- of the web. they e-mail the web master and asked them to change the font in the color. people who became impaired and have the experience spend twice as much time helping
others compared to those that simply role-played. that's an example of the type of studies that we run. it's critical to not blindly say that virtual reality is always going to cause empathy. it's really important to say it doesn't always work. .. .. it does not automatically cause empathy. >> in your book experience on demand, you consider virtual reality to be the latest in the string of audio visual technology, is that correct? >> yes. absolutely. and one of the classes i teach here at stanford is the series of mass communication. we spent a lot of time looking at other media. how people use social media and even video.
there is a debate that goes on in my head all the time. just another medium, for example color or high-resolution tv compared to black and white or low resolution tv or if it is fundamentally different. i don't want to over claim. fundamentally different than anything we have done before. i do think what is different and very special is you are using your body. when you want to approach an object, you literally walk towards it tiered you are using the muscle that you use and engage in your daily life. something about the activation that is a little different than when you are watching something passively. >> now, you reference pushing a button and making things change. this is really complex code at a point, isn't it. >> it is getting less and less complex every day. i've been doing it for 20 years. i would have to teach my computer science students an
extra two weeklong boot camp. we did it every september for the past 10 years in order to get them to understand everything with building 3 d models and coding. there is now these commercial languages, unity, unreal, these packages. my students now come in and they know it. what is mind blowing for me is i have gone through this very niche thing where i have to train everyone to do it. they come in now knowing more than we do. it is an unbelievable seismic shift. they come into my lab knowing how to program. it is really neat to see. >> you mentioned working with many members of congress. what kind of work do you do with them? >> the current administration has yet to have any contact. the former administration we were lucky enough to spend a lot of time with tom wheeler. the former chair of the fcc.
tom is a really forward thinking guy. he has come to the lab a number of times and tried out all of our demos. things like bandwidth. how is 5 g going to change in nature of what vr is? privacy. what does it mean to have privacy and vr. we track your body movements. how will that affect the whole privacy debate. in addition to knowing what you are typing, they know where you looked and your body posture and your facial expression. talk to let about this really intense debate. what is not okay to do and vr. we can talk about a 2011 u.s. supreme court case in which there was the majority ruled in the case about videogame violence of the u.s. supreme court. the right to free speech trumps the ability to regulate by
having warning labels for kids to buy these violent video games the majority said video games are free speech and we should not regulate with that at all. i am a huge fan of free speech. i am not a fan of regulation. justice alito pack in 2011 said, freedom is critical and we should keep free speech, however, there is a virtual reality. it is getting more popular. when these games become immersive and it is not just hitting buttons, you are using your body and you are feeling the feedback of blood splashing on your face and you are learning the skills of doing combat, you are not just hitting a button to aim a gun, you are actually aiming a gun. i want to revisit this. the court needs to fly with precedent that vr games are little bit different than traditional games and this needs to be revisited. >> do you agree with him?
>> again, i really want to flag. i'm not a fan of regulating free speech. that is really critical to get clear. what should we do and vr? technology companies asked me what should our age limits be. we just wrote a nice free report on mine. anyone can download it. what we know about children and vr. when friends and family ask me, what is not okay to do and vr, i answer tends to be, vr is built for things you cannot do in the real world. that is why we have it. things that are so expensive. things that are impossible, becoming a different person, flying to mars. that is what vr is made for. what i worry about is experiences that you would not do in the real world. if there was some experience that you did in the real world which was you did it and you went home that night and you
could not look at yourself in the mirror and you could not hug your spouse and you are embarrassed to be in the same room as your kids, you did this thing so horrible in the real world, these are the things that i think people should avoid and vr. if there's a behavior you'll not be proud of yourself for doing because the residual brain, the brain treats this activity as if it were real, these things stay with us. these effects of these experiences, i don't tell them what those experiences are. we all need to defy this for ourselves. if you feel really bad, let's not not do that in vr. let's say that for traditional interface or reading a book or movie. if you will be doing it with your body, let's keep things that will not keep us awake at night. >> you also talk about the effects that it could have on ptsd. >> the chapter five of the book
is called time machine for trauma. i interviewed two heroes here. both of them have made amazing careers out of using vr to help people combat posttraumatic stress disorder. the idea here is with first responders to 9/11. literally one of the first thing she thought of his how my going to help these people get better. the people that have gotten ptsd from it. she immediately started building a simulation of the towers and the planes hitting and all that horror and trauma. when you're treating someone with ptsd, the typical way of doing it is cognitive exposure therapy. you have to bring them back. imagine that they were there. bring them back to the trauma so you can start to undo these horrible associations and give them coping mechanisms. the problem is, people don't
want to go back. it hurts to go back. you don't want to do it. it is very difficult to get people there. vr takes all of that imagination and work to get back there and it illuminates that. you are just there. you had a button and you are there. you are smelling the burning and the bombs coming off and shaking the floor. it is designed to bring you back so we can help you get better. many studies, clinical studies. random clinical trials. it helps first responders get better. it is a tool that should be used more. >> have you experimented yet with 5 g and vr? >> a little bit of work. one of my life dreams for vr is i don't want to replace
face-to-face communication. i want you to go to that party. i want you to go outside to nature. i want you to be with your family and friends. however, there is a subclass of work, a subclass of travel that is unnecessary. we consider it work. you watch a movie from the 1970s and you're watching this movie. there is a pregnant woman and the doctor's office. they are both smoking cigarettes can you believe that doctors used to smoke cigarettes around their patients? i want us to look back at this era and say can you believe people got in these metal boxes and they drove an hour to work and an hour back to work just so they could go in this building, sit at a desk and pound on a computer for nine hours and make some phone calls. what is a consequence of the commute. last year we had 40,000 people die die in car accidents. going back to 9/11, the worst public event of my life, roughly
10 times as many people were killed by cars as terrorists that year. cars destroy lives. if i could perfect the virtual handshake, a metaphor for the nonverbal amazingness of being in the same room as someone where you get glances and settle posture changes and you really feel like you are there. we don't get that right now with videoconferencing. it is great, but if you're going to have an important meeting, trying to build things like eye contact and actual touch to build a virtual handshake that reveals a motion in the way you want it, psychologists call it a dance happening nonverbally with people. >> face-to-face interaction.
i literally flew 29 hours from california to give a one hour long talk on how to use vr to help the environment and then flew back. that is just ridiculous. we cannot fly across the world for hour-long meetings. commuting an hour each day. losing that productivity. there is a lot where we don't. it is my dream that with things like 5 g, they are starting to see how that changes. really nice wholesome, it feels holistic. i think 5 g will help. >> your background is not engineering or physical science. how did you get interested in that? >> my phd in 1999 was trying to build computer programs trying to model what was happening.
it was very saturated field. a science fiction model. it will take it. a lot of us are inspired by a lot of different books that we read. >> built by these amazing authors that right science fiction. how did the world change when all the rules go away. you can make copies of yourself and send them over the virtual reality gape where you can have experiences that you wouldn't have had otherwise. i was inspired by this book. i decided to leave cognitive science. i do postdoc at santa barbara. building the hardware for virtual reality.
at the same time i stopped asking questions that were really focused about how the brain works and shifted to larger questions. social interaction and communication and training and even entertainment. starting to understand how virtual reality can be used out in the world. >> you reported as being invested in vr right now. how is that going to increase. >> it is changing every day. it is not pausing. especially if you start lumping and augmented reality. it is a little different. you are adding a digital layer. we are seeing companies being more careful about who they invest in. we are not seeing the money turned down. there is still a huge influx of capital, from the valley and internationally. a lot of money coming from china we are not seeing even a pause
in the investment. companies are all in. >> there is concern about chinese investment and u.s. advanced elegy. do you share that? >> i am a vr guy and that question is over my pay grade. i like working with companies here in the valley. i can spend time with them and get to know them better. >> back to experience on demand. vr is unregulated and poorly understood. yes, sir. when i spent time with government officials and i view it as my duty and a privilege to get to spend time with, whether it is senators are members of the court or congress women and men, giving briefings at the u.s. senate on this. i think it is fairly safe to say that most people who are lawmakers in a government, we are still trying to figure out
things like twitter and social media. you add vr into this where it is a whole different ballgame. how it will affect things, as i said, issues issues of privacy. issues of what is okay to do in vr and what is not okay. there is a debate that has yet to come in government. what i am thrilled about personally is sometimes here in the valley, people say why is it not everywhere yet. why isn't it in every single person's living room. there was maybe 1000-2000 of these goggles. now we have north of 10 million. that is a lot. i am thrilled to say that in the united states we have not had too many really intense negative events. in december, a man died. he fell through a plate glass table.
i am liking this, you know, i won't call it slow relief. i think it is not slow, but i am liking the fact that there is this kind of careful, you know, measured amount amount of use right now where we can learn how to make mistakes and make things better in terms of safety and people walking into walls, stepping on cats. you may think no one would ever drive while wearing virtual reality goggles. it's called pokémon go. you hold up your tablet and you are looking through your camera or your phone and your tablet and you're trying to find these characters out in the world. a number of documented car accidents caused by people playing pokémon go while driving on the book to her i am talking to a lot of the big technology companies. they're the ones making vr content apps.
nine people every day in the united states are killed i distracted driving. when i talk to the phone companies, i say, imagine 10 years ago and you got to make a decision. you could make a phone not work in a moving car. literally, the phone would not work in a moving car. i talk on my phone hands-free and my car while i am driving. however, if you give me personally the choice right now, we can make it so a phone does not work in cars, an extra nine people every single day get to have their lives or i don't get the convenience of being able to talk on my phone, i would choose a people's lives, personally. when i talk i talk to vr companies, i use that as a lead-in. you have the opportunity to make it so vr will not work in a car. i look at the software people. whatever you do, that will be overridden. i want the hardware device if it is moving more than 6 kilometers
an hour it turns off. there is some accelerometer that detects this movement. literally, the power shuts down if you are moving too quickly. what about people on the passenger seat and driverless cars. i hear that. i am sympathetic weird however, i truly believe people will be using vr while driving. i don't want it to be regulation. i want the hardware companies to come together. >> stanford university professor of communications, founding director of the human interaction lab and the author of this book, experience on demand, what virtual reality is, how it works and what it can do. >> president donald trump will announce his nominee for the supreme court. retiring justice anthony kennedy. watch the announcement live tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span and c-span.org or listen
on the free c-span radio app. on thursday, the fbi, a former senior official for the counter intelligence division will testify surrounding the 2016 presidential election and the clinton email investigation. coverage starts at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three, all mine c-span.org and the c-span free radio app. the u.s. senate begins its session in about 10 minutes. until then a portion of today's "washington journal" on the cost of securing nuclear materials. >> every monday your money segment. today we are focusing on the cost of protecting our nuclear weapons. joining us is john donnelly. we've been looking into this topic tiered what have you learned?